NARCISSUS

Morning light shines brightly off the Hudson. I awake, blinded by gold and silver. My window glass cannot protect me from daytime hours.

 

Hot water washes away sweat mixed with cologne mixed with PBR mixed with some flowery scent. It must be her.

 

Who is she?

 

Her hair spreads over the second pillow like dark vines. Ivy crawling up the walls of my apartment building. We keep telling the super to clear it away.

 

She sleeps still as the front door clicks shut behind me.

 

Just past 10am on a Sunday morning, and the bored housewives from Battery Park City are all out for a jog. Their eyes follow me as I stroll slowly past. I don’t return the favor. Sweat and heavy breathing is more attractive just after midnight.

 

Do you come here often? Her eyes smile at me from across the room. I raise my glass to her, and she does the same. We finish our drinks in one final gulp, and smile at each other.

 

My empty shot glasses stretch out to the edge of the bar.

 

The bartender pours me another drink. She asks me something and I slide a large bill in her direction without even a glance.

 

Who is she?

 

There is gold, or glitter, on her arms, all over her skin. Or maybe she is so beautiful that she just glows. When our dark eyes find each other again it is as if we are two specks of stardust orbiting each other in the cosmos.

 

But chaos prevails. The galaxy pulls me one way, then another. I am lost in the debris of a dying planet.

 

Two hands grab onto my hips from behind.

Do you come here often? Her eyes smile at me, but they are dull and grey like the river on an overcast day. I know you do, I’ve seen you before. Do you recognize me?

 

I have no idea who you are.

 

Dark ivy tendrils pull me close. She is so eager to please, and it is just too easy. We fall asleep, her arms reaching out from the opposite side of the mattress.

 

The Hudson shines golden like the sun, and she sleeps still. I wish I could find the place empty when I returned.

 

Who is she?

 

Either jump into the river or walk back.